3125 Tasting Notes
Ok…. in conclusion, I suck at brewing this tea. 172F for 20 (or was it 30?) seconds, and I’m literally getting tasteless water. There’s a hint… juuuuust a hint, of tastiness, but even with the fairly weak houji-genmaicha that I just drank, it’s too weak. Bleh. I think I have yet another cup’s worth of leaf left, but I’m about to give up. I’m sure that age is affecting this tea (although I see that JC logged this tea a month ago and clearly thought it was still ok).
ETA: Ok, half the water, 1-minute infusion at 175F for the second infusion. Best flavour yet, but it’s flirting with being too astringent. Oh! But there’s finally a nice aftertaste! Not enough for me though, unfortunately. I just don’t think this tea is for me (and it’s seemingly impossible to brew, haha, perhaps someone can offer a suggestion?)
So, tonight I brought out my box of samples from Alphakitty and hung my head in shame that I have ridiculous amounts of so many of them left. Here I was wanting to make a Harney order, and I have at least 3-4 cups’ worth left of both Tokyo and Bangkok, plus 1-2 cups of Paris and Boston. SoHo blend is now gone (note forthcoming), but… still! Bad me. I should at least finish what I have before I get more.
Anyhow, apparently last time I tried this, the tea:water ratio, even with a 1 minute infusion, was too weak for me. Tonight, in spite of just having drank a wicked cup of Mayan Chocolate Chai…. my 30-second infused cup is quite tasty! Toasted and like genmaicha, but definitely sweeter and lacking any “green-ness”. It’s more like… just the rice, with a base that’s less apparent than the usual green genmaicha base. I should try a higher leaf:water ratio just for curiousity (this is super smooth, so I think there wouldn’t be any negative effects), but I’m happy how it is tonight.
Thanks Alphakitty! I’ve decided to tackle one swap box every week or so, and make as much progress in the evenings with it as possible. I have been neglecting my samples lately, and am worried that they’re all going to get contaminated! (My samples from tea companies are of course better packaged, so less chance of contamination).
ETA: Oops, neglected this one during its second infusion…. but I am pleased to report that a 2-minute second infusion in boiling water (about 1/3 of the original volume) results in a pretty darn delicious (small) cup! No astringency, just toasty sweetness. It reminds me an awful lot of puffed wheat, like in puffed wheat squares…. I like to eat that stuff by the handful, haha. Delish!
Brewed this up alongside the Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green that I also had to look at the differences. While the Laoshan Green definitely had the beany Laoshan Green flavour, this one was more subtle and was definitely less vegetal. Of course, the same thing happened with this cup as with the Dragonwell – I drank half, and it was then forgotten and therefore had to be chucked. Luckily I also still have some of this one left!
With apprehension, I had to try my 2011 Autumn version of this one again…. after the disappointment of my Laoshan Green having lost a good deal of flavour, I wanted to see if this one was also ruined. Thankfully, although it is perhaps lacking in flavour a little, it still tasted pretty darn good! Unfortunately, I only got through half a cup before I forgot about it, and green teas do NOT sit overnight well, either in an infuser or in a mug. So that’s all I got (but I still have more tea, yay!)
Ok, shame on me for not reading my previous review before trying this again. I went with the usual amount of leaf (1.5tsp) for 8 oz. water and gave it a 1 minute infusion at 180F…. definitely too much. Astringent and not very pleasant. Gotta try a 15-30s first infusion next time. This will work for me before it’s all gone!!!
Whoops! I have not been very good about logging teas lately! This is a backlog from Wednesday (actually… I think all four teas I missed are from Wednesday…. I guess the boy is a bit of a distraction!)
Anyhow, made myself a giant mug of this to nearly finish it off in anticipation of the next 0.5 ounce headed my way shortly! I haven’t sipped down too many Butiki teas (Gui Fei and Strawberry Oolong are it, I think), but this one will be added to the list shortly! (Of course, I’ve restocked all three of those, so net progress is still zero, hahaha).
Uh, and as usual, this was delicious, as was the resteep. I lost track of what happened to the leaves after that, but usually I only do 2 or 3 anyhow.
Uh…. so I received my (restock) order of Laoshan Black earlier this week, and was thrilled to brew some up for today’s travel mugs. Not particularly noteworthy… except that I just took a sip, and got the most intense sweetness I’ve EVER had from a straight tea! Like, straight-up sugar. So sweet that I actually did a double-take, of sorts (AKA a second sip), with the same result. Sure, I’m tasting malty, chocolatey Laoshan Black, but never ever before has it tasted so incredibly sweet! It’s not a bad sort of sweet either; doesn’t even taste like I added sugar, the sweetness tastes natural. But it is crazy.
I’m wondering if it’s because I brushed my teeth over half an hour ago… but my mouth doesn’t taste “minty fresh” anymore, and usually toothpaste makes sweet things taste unsweet, instead of the other way around. I will have to see whether this sweetness is maintained over the afternoon, or whether it was merely a function of my tastebuds (in which case I am totally brushing my teeth before drinking this tea again, hahahaha).
ETA: It wasn’t as sweet when I finished the mug later, but a re-steep later in the evening ended up producing similar sweet results. I wonder if this is a harvest difference, and there are just more honey notes this time around. Delicious!